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April 25, 2008

Indistinguishable from parody
Posted by Teresa at 10:47 AM * 200 comments

It’s embarrassing to discover that string of comments you’ve been reading as intentional parody may have been serious. This has been going on in the comment thread of a Mark Frauenfelder Boing Boing post called Against Ben Stein’s wishes, lizards rapidly evolve after introduction to island.

It’s a two-troll comment thread. The one who posts as “Evidence” is just a garden-variety attention-seeker. The problem case I may have been misreading is the one who posts as “Iva Biggrudge”. I’ve been assuming that since there’s no such thing as a perfect idiot, he has to be lampooning a certain stripe of very bad online rhetoric. Now it looks like I may have been wrong—and equally, looks like I may have been right. Patrick literally can’t tell whether Biggrudge’s comments are intentional parody. Neither can Ill Lich, who’s one of BB’s sharper readers.

Have a look at them for yourself: one, two, three, four, five.

If Iva Biggrudge is serious, we’re going to have to donate his comments to the Stupidity Project, because they’re just about perfect.

Comments on Indistinguishable from parody:
#1 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:25 AM:

Just reading the first four (I think the 2nd link is/was broken?)... can't stomach any more... I'm afraid my vote is that it is not parody. I've seen too many people be that seriously stupid.

#2 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:34 AM:

I'm with Michael. That guy is serious and scary. He's angry and obsessed -- bad combination.

And yeah, the 2nd link is FUBARed. It's got this site's url appended to the BB url.

MKK

#3 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:46 AM:

Yeah, I'm afraid I've been reading it as the (regrettably) real thing as well.

#4 ::: Cathy W ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:53 AM:

My parody detector is usually pretty reliable, and he's not setting it off at all.

#5 ::: Kes ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:55 AM:

The lunatic in question sounds remarkably like Michael Savage. Maybe he's hoping for a syndicated talk show?

#6 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:58 AM:

Do the lurkers support him in email?

#7 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:59 AM:

For what it's worth--and I didn't read the whole thread, which undercuts my opinion--"Iva Biggrudge" reads as serious to me, too. If this is a parody, it would almost have to be of the "create an entire false personality and inhabit it" variety . . . sort of Andy Kaufman on line. That's possible, of course--but since part of the goal of that sort of parody is to convince at least some people that it is real, I think I'd just throw up my hands at that point.

#8 ::: Melinda Snodgrass ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:05 PM:

Wow. And I just wrote a line of dialogue in a short story "Why are people so damn dumb?"

I'll just wander away, make another cup of tea and despair of the human race.

#9 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:08 PM:

Someone who does a perfect imitation of a troll is a troll, no matter what s/he believes "IRL."

This person* is a real wacko. A parodist would make it funny, or at least put in a couple of in-jokes as flags.

In other words: It's possible this is a hoax, but it's certainly not parody. Mind you, I don't think this is a hoax, either. I think this person is a wacko, home-schooled by wackos in wackoness.

*Either the writer hirself or the character s/he's flawlessly portraying, and it fundamentally doesn't matter.

#10 ::: Mike Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:23 PM:

I have to agree with the consensus that this is a genuine nut, despite the suspiciously good spelling and syntax.

#11 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:27 PM:

My vote is for literate but serious idiot.

#12 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:27 PM:

I'm voting not a parody. I avoid the creationism/evolution debates on

BB for a reason. He's got the in-jokes and keywords for the ID/evangelical side of things but not evolution, and while I can't put a finger on any one phrase that does it, the in-group programing I've still got puts him firmly in that camp.

#13 ::: Stephanie ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:36 PM:

Another vote for him being a real crazyationist. There's something about the way he randomly drops in the anti-gay and anti-Catholic nuttery that just rings true.

#14 ::: Russell Letson ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:36 PM:

Mary Frances @7 nailed it for me with the Andy Kaufman connection. If this is a simulation, it's running in a system indistinguishable from (and is just as disturbing as) the real thing. *shudder*

#15 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:42 PM:

I'm with the consensus so far: Not parody.

He sounds identical to all the other vocal creationists online. There's nothing to set him aside as being absurdist.

#16 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:49 PM:

I'd vote for genuine, or as Xopher says, a hoax, not a parody, because of the total lack of winking.

Does anyone know if that weird anti-Semitism argument a common one among ID people? Because that was the point at which I started boggling.

Reading this stuff is hard--on one hand, with the ink-is-still-wet "Dr." I can now put at the beginning of my name, I feel like I should put that official-sounding title to good use by helping my fellow scientists deal with this junk (particularly as there is a dearth of religion vs. reason type arguments out there about materials science*, so I don't get kept busy with arguments in my own field.) On the other hand, what's the point of trying to educate willful ignorance with an open heart? Even dipping my toe in Creationist arguments just frustrates me too much to even respond.

*Maybe I should start one. Hmm. Implausibility of available technology being able to build the Ark of the Covenant as literally described?

#17 ::: Michael Martin ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 12:59 PM:

TChem@16: I am now genuinely curious. Would the Ark have required advanced materials to build? It doesn't seem on the face of it to be a particularly complex design.

#18 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:01 PM:

I'm with xopher at #9: As Vonnegut says in Mother Night, "Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be."

#19 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:02 PM:

>>Does anyone know if that weird anti-Semitism argument a common one among ID people? Because that was the point at which I started boggling.

I've certainly heard it before, although more as a snide remark than with the vigour assault displayed here, that had Hitler not come across Darwin's work he would have never started his final solution.

#20 ::: Deanna Hoak ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:08 PM:

As someone who's lived in the Bible Belt most of her life, I would have assumed immediately that those comments were serious.

#21 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:16 PM:

Another vote for crazy. There aren't many parodists good enough to hit the tone spot-on like that, and the ones who are good enough generally are also good enough to, well, make it work as humor. Also, the pattern of engagement -- who they responded to and when -- doesn't feel like a parodist. It feels like someone seriously obsessed, not like someone who's having fun.

#22 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:23 PM:

Does anyone know if that weird anti-Semitism argument a common one among ID people? Because that was the point at which I started boggling.

Well, it depends on who you count as ID people. I know some folk who thought weak-version ID* philosophy was just fine...about six years ago.** Like anything else that lends itself to obsessive nerdiness, it attracted the usual suspects pretty fast, nutters, paranoid conspiracists, and leaving the main sequence for the red-giant Godwin phase, having consumed all the hydrogen rational intellect of it's earlier followers.

*weak version ID in a nutshell: If you already believe in God, then it is reasonable, and even "obvious" to conclude that the cool/nifty/orderly phenomena that you encounter by doing science illustrates how cool He is. Pretty simple Premise -> Conclusion stuff. The less logical types reverse the equation leading to Conclusion -> Premise, because it's soooo 'obvious.' It's not too far to classical Creationism and nuttiness from here. And yes, I am aware of examples that completely demolish even the reversed logic.

**now, it is the theology-which-must-not-speak-it's-name.

#23 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:27 PM:

TChem@16: Does anyone know if that weird anti-Semitism argument a common one among ID people? Because that was the point at which I started boggling.

This is a major point, apparently, in the odious new ID propaganda "documentary" Expelled: that Darwin is to blame for the Holocaust. So we should expect to see it become one of the major tropes for a while.

#24 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:31 PM:

This is one of the best posts EVER!

#25 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:34 PM:

It is a common notion that Nazi eugenics were inspired by Darwin's ideas - but only in the same sense that the Inquisition was inspired by Jesus. I am aware, of course, that Darwin campaigned against slavery and colonialism; would only that the Islamophobic likes of Samuel Harris would follow his fine example.

I actually read in a postcolonial studies book years ago that the Eyre atrocities in 19th century Jamaica were defended by artists like Ruskin and Carlyle and attacked by rationalists like Darwin and Mill, so no, I don't completely follow the postcolonial suspicion of reason. Atheists like Hitchens, Hirsi Ali and Harris, though, can not be said to be giving their ideas a good name.

And another thing. Most Muslim-majority countries teach evolution in their school system (though admittedly a lot of Muslim theologians have their own form of intelligent design). Those African countries which actually have a functioning school system, teach evolution. Latin American school systems teach evolution. Asian school systems teach evolution. And they have to, because otherwise their credentials won't be recognized in, ahem, the US. What exactly makes Middle America so special that they think they don't have to teach basic science?

#26 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:42 PM:

Definitely the real kind of sincere stupid. Even Jesus' General breaks character now and again.

But I can see how this could be confusing. For some time, there's been rumors that Anne Coulter is really a liberal sleeper agent/long term undercover parody. The distinction,a t that poitn though becomes an Academic one. At a certain point, you either become what you mock or break character like JG or Steven Colbert.

#27 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:46 PM:

#25 Sajia Kabir: What exactly makes Middle America so special that they think they don't have to teach basic science?

But you answered your own question: because it's Middle America.

#28 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:51 PM:

I read half the first post and my alarms were screaming "raving lunatic nutbar".

And that's the lowest setting.

It went up a couple notches from by the time I got to the third post.

I didn't have time for a shower, so I stopped after that.

I think the thing is that parady skewers the thing being parodied. This guy is thrashing about with a sword and hacking at anything in reach that is not the the thing he would possibly be parodying.

That may or may not be an accurate definiton of parody. But either way, this guy is a four-alarm nut case.

#29 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Sajia @ 25... Atheists like Hitchens, Hirsi Ali and Harris, though, can not be said to be giving their ideas a good name.

They certainly don't speak for the likes of me.

#30 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:02 PM:

definitely not parody.

Either nut, troll, or maybe fantasy writer trying out drug fueled plot (#5 and the Hitler stuff, that plot is worth stealing)

#31 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:07 PM:

Would the Ark have required advanced materials to build? It doesn't seem on the face of it to be a particularly complex design.

When closed, it shielded the Israelites from the lethal radiation that is emitted from the Ark. That might just have meant it was made of lead.

#32 ::: ed g. ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:08 PM:

For what it's worth, I'm with the crowd on this. The guy is completely serious, and not someone I'd risk turning my back on.

#33 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:09 PM:

Poe's Law has struck again, although in a vaguely less religious context this time.

Still, it is creationism. Religion isn't too far away.

#34 ::: Larry Lennhoff ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:13 PM:

Xoper @ 24: Ceiling Cat Bible Project

#35 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:21 PM:

If it need be said, the atheists Sajia mentioned at #25 don't speak for me, but Serge at #29 does.

#36 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:26 PM:

I'm pretty certain this guy is actually Tony Zirkle.

#37 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:27 PM:

I think he's real, and I think it's a bad idea to mention his name here.

He's a sociopathic, narcissistic troll and I wouldn't put it past him to Google up appearances of his name.

The only safe way out of this is to nuke the thread from orbit.

#38 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:29 PM:

Larry 34: ZOMG! Srsly.

#39 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:34 PM:

I'd say complete and utter nut.

Sajia Kabir #25:

Your postcolonial studies book was absolutely correct. Darwin, Huxley, and company were supporters of the Jamaica Committee formed to prosecute Edward John Eyre for the atrocities committed in Jamaica in 1865. Carlyle, Ruskin and other Romantics were supporters of Eyre, as was that good Xtian socialist Kingsley.

#40 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:42 PM:

ethan @ 35... Mind you, we know that Sajia knows we're not one of those atheists.

#41 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:43 PM:

don delny @ #22:

*weak version ID in a nutshell: If you already believe in God, then it is reasonable, and even "obvious" to conclude that the cool/nifty/orderly phenomena that you encounter by doing science illustrates how cool He is.

Since when does this rise to the level of intelligent design, no matter how weak? It seems perfectly consistent with Deism or Roman Catholicism to me.

#42 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:44 PM:

Also, just a note: I used to hang out on ChristianForums.com often. Iva may be satire, but there are people out there that believe what he's saying.

Charismatics and Calvinists terrify me, especially when they're Creationists.

#43 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:45 PM:

#17 Michael Martin: Whoops, I meant the Tabernacle. It's not the existence of the technology so much as the scale of processing that'd need to be happening. I'll have to consult with my bible and the back of an envelope tonight when I get home, because it's been a while. But I remember my BS alarm going off when I was reading about the various large and/or structural pieces that were supposedly solid precious metal.

Ancient metalworkers were generally smart enough to make large objects from a very thin sheet of metal, either alone or covering something else, because there just wasn't that much of the stuff around, and because it's HEAVY. (this guy is 6 inches tall according to the Met website, solid gold, and about as big a solid piece as you'll see. And that's Egypt, which had way more resources to exploit. And then I'm remembering some details of, but not the key Googleable words for, that huge stash of gold objects archaeologists found in Russia. I recall being struck by their delicacy--they covered a huge surface area but were incredibly thin.)

I'd be much more likely to buy that things were carved of stone or wood and coated with a thin hammered sheet or foil of those metals, which would be just as dazzling to behold, while requiring less than 1/1000 the resources. From there it's easy to exaggerate and write down that things were solid metal. Biblical literalists would have the same problem with that as with the earth taking more than 7 days to create, though.

#44 ::: Laura Quilter ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:45 PM:

Yeah, I don't see it as parody because, well, it's not funny. Parodies usually give it away by playing up the God worship in some funny way, but not here. Plus, also, I think it's not actually that easy to imitate that style of rantiness. The poster confuses things a bit by acknowledging that he's ranting, but I think that's not outside the bounds for a serious person to admit.

Also, breaking Godwin's law in a context where the spectre of evolution-leads-to-genocide has already been raised, even if it were parody, is in fact trolling. Even if it's parody. IMO.

#45 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:52 PM:

#43

I know someone who says it couldn't be solid gold because over time it would have deformed so badly that it wouldn't be recognizable (not someone with an engineering/chemistry background though).

That it was wrapped in gold sheet makes sense to me.

#46 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 02:56 PM:

Just ran the username through Google.

This particular nut has hit a couple of other threads on BoingBoing with the same kind of comments, not even relevant to the threads.

So: not parody. Nutcase.

#47 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:08 PM:

#45: That's another thing I was thinking to check, because I can't remember where the respective parts were located. But then, there's the counterargument: "God helped hold them up. And, er, engineers caused the Black Plague, while we're at it." /parody

#48 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:22 PM:

re 43: I just looked at Exodus 25/26, and I'm afraid I missed the part where it said anything was to be made of any solid metal. The ark it plainly states to be overlaid (the box) or "hammered work" (the cherubim).

#49 ::: Retterson ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:26 PM:

I do ScienceBlogs - and the whole "Expelled" thing is a big topic over there right now as well.

This person isn't parodying it at all. The latest and greatest tactic among the ID-ers is to claim that they are the guardians of science. Meanwhile, all those who do things like painstaking, thoughtful and controlled research, and then subjecting their methods, data and results to the harsh court of peer review and public comment are not.

It's typical. Sad. But typical

#50 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:34 PM:

He's definitely the real thing.

These different elements--the theist who feels himself to be badly outnumbered and cruelly oppressed, the creationist who feels unfairly excluded from the scientific debate just because he admits scriptural evidence, and the self-styped "common man" who burns with resentment at the condescension of mostly-imagined elites--combine to produce an angry, defensive, and bitter mind.

That kind of mind rots fast, and you can't miss the stink of it, nor can you fake it. People who try to parody it never manage to pack enough sneering hate into their writing. It might be that to create really good parody you have to, in some real way, love and understand the thing you're parodying. (Did Christopher Guest say something like that?) That kind of empathy might allow you to imagine what it is to love what someone else loves, but can a person capable of that kind of empathy imagine what it is to hate what someone else hates?

Here's what convinced me he's for real:

"You DEMAND it of creationists. Be willing to provide it. Put your money (actually, MY stolen tax money) where your big mouth is."

Oh yeah. He's for real. There's two resentments dressed with a sneer.

"And don't even get me started on Mass(church service) in Latin when nobody but lawyers/doctors speak it."

This is new to me. Has anyone else ever seen this before? I've never seen anti-catholicism connected with resentment of educated professionals who are imagined to be speaking latin to one another. Is this a common theme in such circles, or is this a more or less original behavior from the subject in question? To my amateur eye, this looks like another convincing indicator of the genuine article. It's easy to parrot the other guy's usual talking points, but much harder to really get into their heads and invent new stuff that fits their worldview.

"I can't spare the AIDS research any more cash... it's all been stolen by the IRS to pay for abortions and evolution research."

Here, again, I detect the stink of the real thing. That's 100% authentic resentment-bitterness-hate.

If everybody died before puberty, you'd laugh at some idiot who proposed the changes we've observed. In Noah's day, before water and death covered the whole earth, shortening lifespans by a factor of ten, people routinely lived almost a thousand years. Funny how no evos ever jump on that, huh?

Oh hell yes. I've never met this guy, but I bet you I could pick him out of a police lineup nine times out of ten. He's so crazy I'll be able to see the demons in his eyes.

#51 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:42 PM:

Not only a nutcase, but an evangelical Protestant nutcase.

Has it produced the line about 'all the smart Catholics become priests and nuns'? (I heard that one once, about thirty years ago, from someone who was from what we'd now call a fundamentalist church. It was followed by remarks about how stupid the rest of the Catholics were and how they believed whatever they were told by the priests.)

#52 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:57 PM:

Yuck. I feel like laundering my eyeballs.

I'm with the gang: not parody, entirely stupid and entirely serious. This guy believes he's the Last Sane Man on the Planet. Eeew.

#53 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 03:57 PM:

There are days when I regret the Internet was invented.

Maybe we need to require passwords that are complete, correctly composed sentences.

And if you use a memorized Bible quote you get logged into a special Internet where everyone sounds just like you.

#54 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:01 PM:

I say: Nutcase. Scary, scary nutcase.

And, HEY! Re: Middle America. I resemble that remark.

But: SOME of us believe in teaching science, and lobby accordingly!!!! SOME of our school districts teach evolution. SOME of our children are being inoculated against science abuse. I promise! Sorry about the rest of us.

#55 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:09 PM:

I think it was somewhere on the Science blogs that one poster advanced the idea that Ann Coulter was writing parody, particularly when it came to her statements on evolution.

Now, Coulter's style is more polished than the guy in question here, but it's clear that they're both the real thing.

If you're going to do parody, do it like Stephen Colbert.

(When Cheers was on, I entertained the idea that Woody was putting them all on. I still think Harrelson was giving some subtle winks.)

#56 ::: Graham Blake ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:10 PM:

There is something verging on the Gene Ray Time Cube vibe to this individual's ranting. Vehement nonsense. I almost respect how mind-meltingly absent of reason it is.

#57 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:17 PM:

I want to call parody. I really do.

Given that the interwebz have no access criteria to meet... I'm going to have to say it's for real.

*sigh*

I just signed into a BoingBoing account...someone stop me from weighing in. Please.

#58 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:20 PM:

Nutcase. If he's kidding, he's lived the role long enough to go native.

JK Richard: DNFTT; you'll just burn through your own jpy and not change a thing. Go do something that will make you happy and fulfilled instead.

#59 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:26 PM:

#54 punkrockhockeymom: And, HEY! Re: Middle America. I resemble that remark.

Well, for my part, I lived in Middle America (if by that we mean the Midwest) for a few years and found most of the people I met there bright, educated, and pro-science, religious or no. (Of course that was in Iowa City... but I met a lot of people from other parts of the MW as well.)

I was simply referring to the part about "what gives them the right"... "them" being those who feel that creationism is good enough, and the thing that "gives them right" being their Middle American-ness, as defined by that same "them", which makes them into some sort of special case of Chosen Ones or something, who therefore have the right to declare that God's Word outweighs anything mere science can come up with.

Nobody can speak for God like America can speak for God.

Although you might recognize that formulation as something we have heard coming out of other geographical locations on the planet.

I liked the Midwest. I like other places better, but it's not a bad place overall.

#60 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:31 PM:

I'm one of the ones who flagged the guy in BB, but try as I might, I can't see him as a parodist. It's not funny enough to be even a badly-executed parody. The anti-catholic rant was absurd, but when you're dealing with creos, that isn't necessarily much help.

I'm more inclined right now to see the commenter Evidence as a parody, except that I know some people genuinely are unable to picture simple geometrical relationships, such as the fall of sunlight and the relationship between the Earth and the Moon causing the phases of the Moon. I'm debating whether I should try to lead him through a simple demonstration of shadows using a lamp, a baseball and a golfball. Or just leave Xopher to patiently explain it....

#61 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:38 PM:

NelC: I did. We'll see if it takes, or if I have to try again.

I recently talked to a creo (thank you! love it) who admitted that shared genes were evidence of common ancestry in humans, but denied it was evidence of common ancestry between humans and other species. Yeah. They really have abandoned logical thought.

#62 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:41 PM:

Maybe 'Evidence' needs one of the items here.

#63 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:47 PM:

"When Cheers was on, I entertained the idea that Woody was putting them all on. I still think Harrelson was giving some subtle winks."

what does this statement mean??

#64 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:04 PM:

Byran @ 63 -

It seemed to me that Woody Harrelson was offering barely noticeable hints that the character of Woody was someone very smart who enjoyed coming off as unsophisticated. Like I said, it's probably just me.

#65 ::: Sean Sakamoto ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:04 PM:

I don't think you should be embarrassed for thinking that the real thing is actually a parody. That shows you have good faith. I often embarrass myself on the internet when I think a parody is the real thing. Then I get all outraged and upset and forward the thing around, only to discover it was a joke.

In this case, I think we've got internet crazy.

#66 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:28 PM:

I also vote for sincere nutcase.

Y'know how there's a certain class of Internet argument that practically degrades into mutual ritual denunciation? The political hot-button topics all have a strong tendency to lean that way, but for some reason creationism arguments always do. I think it's because there are hardly any creationists with any sort of actual comprehension of evolutionary science, and most scientifically-minded people are weak on theology (actually, most everybody is weak on theology, whether they believe or not).

So you get people like Iva, who compile comments out of lists of pre-generated propaganda claims, and then the evolutionists are expected to rebut those claims, but since the claims have all been around for years, there are also ready-to-go counter-arguments, and the whole thing looks like people reading from a script, or perhaps a pair of dueling Eliza programs. It all looks like mechanized ideas have parasitized people's brains and forced their fingers to type them out, zombie-like, so they can propagate over the net.

I often wonder if this is why it was Richard Dawkins -- no stranger to these arguments -- who came up with the concept of memes.

#67 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:41 PM:

#37 ::: Stefan Jones #37 I think he's real, and I think it's a bad idea to mention his name here.

I concur. Speculation on what his True Name is could lead to toxic results.

#68 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:46 PM:

Complete nutter, devoid of any shred of sense, common or otherwise.

#69 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:51 PM:

I'm going to go out on a limb here.

I think the guy's for real now, but that he was at some point in the past a dedicated troller in the SubGenius style. There's a rhythm in his writing that reminds me a lot of guys I saw in the '90s, who started off writing deliberate parody of televangelist style and kind of got sucked into the persona. Too many of them ended up becoming deranged ranters for real, thanks to a combination of the "you become what you do" thing and (I think) untreated medical problems.

#70 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 06:08 PM:

I think he's real...he's posting the same stuff at the scientific american blog, which presumably doesn't attract nuanced satire the way BB might.

(Here's his profile over there, it links to various of his posts, all in the last couple of days).

I have to say, I really, really love his notion that dinosaurs were just small lizards such as we have today, that grew really big over the course of their lives. The kid in me is smiling ear to ear at the notion of catching a gecko and hiding it in the shed and feeding it up real good, until eventually mom and dad go back there to get a rake and find that I'm hiding a pet dinosaur. Robin James and Stephen Cosgrove probably already wrote that exact book, actually, except probably about a dragon instead of a dinosaur.

#71 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 06:16 PM:

Kate Nepveu, 41,*

Since when does this rise to the level of intelligent design, no matter how weak? It seems perfectly consistent with Deism or Roman Catholicism to me.

Yes, you are exactly right! And that's how six or twelve years ago, when ID surfaced, it got otherwise sensible people to sign on.** The way it works is a simple magic trick; a cognitive error and a logical fallacy.

The cognitive error is simple: people really suck at seeing the world from other people's perspectives. Frex, generic Christian, hears about ID, can't imagine not believing in God, and BOOM! flips the premise without thinking (God is) and the conclusion (the stuff He made is cool).

Diagram:

Correct: Premise [God is] -> Conclusion [stuff shows how cool He is]

Incorrect: Conclusion [Universe is cool] -> Premise [God is]

(It's the hat trick of bad theology too! The incorrect model also substitutes works for faith.)

don

*btw, I'm a fan of the book log. Hi!

**and provolked great suspicion amongst the mainline denomination I belong to. I mean, people said it was a trojan horse for Creationism and fundamentalism. (Others said it was a trojan horse for Unitarianism and Catholicism, so your milage may vary. Anyway, not uncontroversial.) The folks I know who first signed on have retreated into embarrassed silence.

#72 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 06:26 PM:

#71, Don Delny- yup, that is how it works. I was in the bar before a meal at a weekend away with people, when I picked up the newspaper, and noted out loud that they had printed a letter from some ID/ Creationist in response to one of my earlier ones, which then prompted me to make some pithy comments on their stupidity. One of the people there, an engineer (Yes, I know, spare us) in his 70's, a generally smart guy, but also religious, said something along the lines of

"Of course there had to be a designer, where did everything come from in the first place."

Gaahhhhh.

Fortunately I didn't say anything silly. But the point is that non-scientific ID is effectively the default position for a large number of believers, and this will bias many of them towards such a heap of junk as "expelled".

#73 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 06:47 PM:

#59:

Nobody can speak for God like America can speak for God.


This reminds me of a Lewis Carroll quote:

`I didn't say there was nothing BETTER,' the King replied. `I said there was nothing LIKE it.' Which Alice did not venture to deny.

#74 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 06:50 PM:

Mary Dell @ 70: small lizards such as we have today, that grew really big over the course of their lives -- see Heinlein's The Star Beast, of course.

#75 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 07:24 PM:

What's scary to me isn't that he's sincere and not a parodist, which I also believe. It's that (at least in the 2 messages my stomach allowed me to read) he seems to have generated a lot of his rhetoric by simply inverting comments made to creationists: "you don't have any experimental evidence", "it's religion, not science", etc. As if "the same to you and twice over" was a logical and persuasive argument. No question, he's a fruitbat.

#76 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 07:38 PM:

#75:

Sir, I would have you not denigrate the noble fruitbat by such a comparison.

Good day to you.

#77 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 07:44 PM:

How about just batshit insane? No insult to guano intended.

#78 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 08:04 PM:

Bruce Baugh wrote pretty much exactly what I was going to.

I think it's a case of "Ha Ha, Only Serious". He's sincere, he's a lunatic, he really hates what he says he hates, but he's also got a level in his own head where he knows, or used to know that he's consciously trolling, which he can retreat to and cackle "Fooled you all!" like an old fashioned villain if the flametides are licking a bit too high.

Picture the sad ruin of a once-great troll tearing at the very planks of the bridge he's sitting under because he can no longer tell them from the goats he used to try to lure, and once they are gone, tearing angrily at his own hair, not noticing as he devours chunks of his own brain.

#79 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 08:08 PM:

He's evil and he's for real.

But -- God bringth good out of evil.

Coz now ai haz Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs.

Depressed most of day, this helped change the emotional landscape considerably. Thanks!

Love, C.

#80 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 09:16 PM:

#78 Jo Walton: ...he really hates what he says he hates, but he's also got a level in his own head where he knows, or used to know that he's consciously trolling, which he can retreat to and cackle "Fooled you all!"

Sounds a little like Gollum.

#81 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 09:22 PM:

Loon, very possibly with either serious psychological or substance problems. Isn't taken seriously, desperately resents not being taken seriously, is striking out against what he thinks of as the signifiers of the people who think they're better than he is.

Undoubtedly truly believes that no-one listens to him in the real world because he's too afire with the purity of the revealed truth. Maybe half-tells himself he's bouleversing the pompous people. Is wrong.

#82 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 09:22 PM:

I'm siding with the "Troll" group.

Parody, it is not. Or, if it's parody, it's unsuccessful. Trolling however, isn't about making fun of the person you pretend to be. It's making fun of the people who believe that you are what you pretend to be. Trolling in discussions that are (currently) as intractable as ID, is pretty much the application of firearms to school of cooper-mediated fish. Everybody is fully convinced that the other side does not have redeeming qualities, so it's very easy to display yourself with none, and be believed.

I am voting troll as a utilitarian though. It's not that I have evidence, it's just that if he's not a troll, the human race is that little bit worse than I would otherwise believe. The more respect for humanity I can save, the better!

#83 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 10:45 PM:

Here's a little good news on a related topic:

Texas board rejects ID master's program.

Summary: The Institute for Creation Research (which is based in Dallas) had submitted a proposal to offer an online master's-degree program aimed at turning out science teachers. The Texas Board of Higher Education turned them down flat.

#84 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 10:47 PM:

My opinion of Texas just went up several notches.

#85 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:02 PM:

Iva is a troll. Comes in there swinging, bringing in Hitler, genetic supremacy, taxes, you name it. Every possible hot-button issue with BoingBoingers, he/she gleefully presses in the first couple minutes.

There are lots of people out there who would basically agree with much of what Iva says. But they have no reason to spend arbitrarily large amounts of time posting over and over and over again at a forum like BoingBoing.

#86 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 12:38 AM:

I don't think it matters if he's a troll or a fanatic. Any sufficiently advanced extremism is indistinguishable from trolling.

#87 ::: jeffk ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 01:18 AM:

I think there's a difference between stupidity and foolishness, and I think that trolls like Iva are more foolish than stupid. He's smart enough to learn to reason, but refuses to do so because, quite literally, it goes against his religion.

They say religion is a personal thing, and that's especially true in cases like this. I think that hese kind of people selectively embrace bits and pieces from their bibles, their churches, and whatever other sources appeal to them and then internalize them, wrap them in the infallibility of their own religion, and then go out and preach.

#88 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 02:39 AM:

I think he means it, and living in a semi-Southern city, I hear similar things more frequently than I'd want. Have I ever told y'all that when I put a Darwin fish on my van, it was taken off overnight? The next one, too, and I don't plan to stencil it on.

#89 ::: Lindra ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 02:53 AM:

Mary Dell @ 70: Your comment reminds me of this car ad.

#90 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 03:05 AM:

Steve @64: ok, I've gotten that impression as well. Indeed it was Woody that I used to base my day to day personality on, until I got tired of the maintenance

and interoperability issues and moved to Homer Simpson because that was the one everybody else was using at the time.

#91 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 03:48 AM:

Marilee: Maia's mother lost four, or five, Kerry lawn signs before she gave up.

Right now she has one for the challenger to Drier (R Calif.). I don't doubt for a second that you are losing Darwin fish.

#92 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 04:00 AM:

Any sufficiently accurate parody is indistinguishable from the real thing.

There's a part of me that wants very much for it to be a parody. Such a master parodist as it would take to pull off so accurate a portrayal of a slightly literate, desperately ignorant crazyationist troll would surely have a punchline worthy of what has already been posted just waiting for the right moment.

Imagine for a moment how awesome such a punchline would have to be. Mmmmm... punchline. I want it to be fake, but I doubt that it is.

#93 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 05:55 AM:

Jo Walton @ 78: "Picture the sad ruin of a once-great troll tearing at the very planks of the bridge he's sitting under because he can no longer tell them from the goats he used to try to lure, and once they are gone, tearing angrily at his own hair, not noticing as he devours chunks of his own brain."

That's...a remarkably sad and compelling image.

#94 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 06:18 AM:

He's a zombie, with what used to be his conscious mind taken over by the evolution denial ruleset. He quite likely invited it in to begin with, and fairly recently at that - I'd be tempted to say he's just been through a crisis and a dramatic conversion, and who's still trying to demonstrate his faith to himself.

He's obviously writing mostly to show off and to have fun pwnz0ring the thread, but that kind of trolling doesn't preclude sincere religious belief - it's the same dynamic that leads to a lot of witnessing. Public preaching & ranting is basically not about your hearers, it's about doing what you feel you have to do in order to be a good person - sometimes especially if that involves courting trivial martyrdom. I've seen a fair few fundamentalists ranting on buses, and standing up on a crowded East London bus and saying that if you follow Islam you are following Satan is... not calculated to gain you any sympathy.

Whilst it does look like parody, I think that's because he's having so much fun, and is so sure he's Right, that he can afford to throw in a few winks and nudges and flourishes.

Of course, it's still showing evidence of the underlying layer of complete batshit craziness, but then the poor guy can't help that. Some people, sadly, really are just completely batshit crazy even without the help of evolution denial, and when you carefully scrape the nuts off your sundae you find it's maple pecan all the way down.

#95 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 07:36 AM:

Creationists haven't spent enough time observing nature. (Unlike Charles Darwin.)

You don't even have to study wildlife to understand natural selection -- just go to a singles bar on Friday night, and watch biology in action.

:)

#96 ::: Francis D ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 07:42 AM:

Everybody is fully convinced that the other side does not have redeeming qualities, so it's very easy to display yourself with none, and be believed.

Nonsense! I believe that >95% of the other side is misinformed, mislead, and badly (and I mean that morally) educated. (The proportion who post to the net in such arguments is significantly lower than that). But I don't write off the majority of them.

And with this guy (and Ann Coulter) there needs to be a version of Clarke's Law: Any significantly in-character trolling is indistinguishable from advocacy.

#97 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 09:37 AM:

Scott@82: You write, Everybody is fully convinced that the other side does not have redeeming qualities, so it's very easy to display yourself with none, and be believed. I disagree with this, a lot. I think that the spread of this idea is very convenient for those who wish to engage in unrestrained abuse of their opponents, and that a lot of people will nod along with it unthinkingly, but that it really isn't so.

The fact is that most people don't act like they actually think it's true. They may well think some idea an opponent holds is altogether worthless, but on some level they care that the other person get the chance to learn better. That's how most debates get started - not with crap-flinging unbounded, but with a genuine interest in helping others see more of the truth. That's just the opposite of seeing them as lacking redeeming qualities. It actually takes a whole lot of isolation and reinforcement to get most people to really go along with demonization in more than a superficial kind of way - in the case of the Republican attack machine, for instance, it took decades to get rolling and then they couldn't actually hold anything like a majority of the American public for more than a few years of being in charge.

This isn't to say that humanity at large has no big flaws, but we're better as a species and as a bunch of communities than those who revel in attack would like the rest of us to believe.

#98 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 09:57 AM:

Terry 91: Tell her to put on gloves, slice open a habanero, and rub the cut edge all along the edge of the sign and whatever she's using to stick it into the ground. While she's doing it, she should say "I am but an instrument of karma."

A.R. 95: Yes, I've often observed that since stupid people outbreed smart people, and pretty people outbreed ugly people, we're breeding for stupid, pretty people (or pretty stupid people if you prefer).

It takes only a brief walk in Manhattan on a summer evening to see that this unintentional eugenics program is far advanced. (As a smart, ugly person, this trend makes me very nervous, as you can imagine.)

#99 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 10:04 AM:

Scott (#82): Everybody is fully convinced that the other side does not have redeeming qualities, so it's very easy to display yourself with none, and be believed.

I don't think so. I certainly don't assume it, out of hand when someone shows up (on whatever topic). It may be the majority (even the vast majority) of those who rant on the subject (esp. on the net) fall into this category, but; by and large, I think even those are treated with the idea they are honest actors.

Sad experience may lead one to think such forbearance wll be short-lived, but I don't think most who believe such things are so convinced of the intellectual iniquity of those on the other side.

Mostly, I think they are amazed they haven't seen/been shown, the evidence to realise how wrong they are.

#100 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 10:08 AM:

Xopher: I've thought of such things (I want to get some tanglefoot netting and place it around the parkway.

The essential pepper oil is nice, in that it's a delayed reaction; so escalation is less likely.

On the whole, she being a better person than I, in the way you think me better than thee, trusts to actual karma.

Me, I'm not so sure, and may do such things for her.

#101 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 10:10 AM:

don delny @ #71:

Hi to you too.

I see what you're saying, but "weak ID" seems like a much too broad way of describing it--it's not any form of ID at all, but rather a way of thinking that can lead to it but *also* can lead to lots of other things. In that respect, it's not a parallel to weak/strong atheism at all and is misleading and potentially insulting.

#102 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 10:30 AM:

Terry, if you do it make sure you tell her you did, so she'll wear gloves when she takes it down!

#103 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 11:03 AM:

Kate Nepveu, 101,

I see what you're saying, but "weak ID" seems like a much too broad way of describing it--it's not any form of ID at all, but rather a way of thinking that can lead to it but *also* can lead to lots of other things. In that respect, it's not a parallel to weak/strong atheism at all and is misleading and potentially insulting.

I completely agree. In fact, I was hoping that someone here knew of a compact way to express what I was describing as weak ID - I feel fairly confident that the Jesuits had a nice Latin phrase for it, but I don't know where to look to find it. I'd really like to get away from describing it as weak-ID also, because as aforementioned it is misleading and embarrassing.

Anyway, I picked the phrase "weak ID" to draw a distinction between the folks I knew who would have described themselves as ID-ers (and some still might) who assumed that it wasn't repackaged Creationism, (and were pretty chagrined to figure out it lumped them in with the nutters.) Many of the current strong form ID types could be prodded back into the weak form pretty easily, just by pointing out the inconsistencies with Christian theology - not that you normally find these folk participating in the typical evolution-creationism flamewars.

#104 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 11:43 AM:

don delny: The question, I think, is one of "design." Of one thinks the present state of the world was the desired end-state, then one is engaging in a form of ID.

If, however, the thought is more, Something set it all in motion, and this is what came up (avoiding the onotological questions of how free the future can be if the Divine is aware of all is, was, or ever will be), then one isn't engaging in ID, but is rather merely a theist.

#105 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 01:05 PM:

Xopher @ 98

(As a smart, ugly person, this trend makes me very nervous, as you can imagine.)

*shudder* Kornbluth showed us the end result in "The Marching Morons." No, it ain't pretty.

Slight tangent: am I right in surmising that the singles scene is one of the reasons why the standard of beauty in the US is becoming the porn star?

#106 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 01:54 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) #105 wrote "Slight tangent: am I right in surmising that the singles scene is one of the reasons why the standard of beauty in the US is becoming the porn star?"

When did this happen? (That's a serious question.)

#107 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 03:46 PM:

Re: Marching Morons. You realise, of course, that the heritability of intelligence is more complex than "Dumb people breed dumb kids; smart people breed smart kids"? Rather, there's great variation observed with a regression towards the mean, so that dumb people can have smart kids and smart people, dumb ones, with both sets tending towards average intelligence.

As to beauty, some of that is down to modern medicine and diet, leading to fewer developmental glitches arising during growth. Otherwise, the genetic component of physical beauty is probably as complicated as the genetic component of intelligence... probably is, considering that our organ of beauty recognition is the brain.

So I'd imagine that there's quite likely to be the same mix of smart, dumb, handsome, and plain in future generations as there are now, and as there were 20,000 years ago.

#108 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 04:23 PM:

I have moments of thinking that "The Marching Morons" has been almost as pernicious an influence on fandom as "Slan".

#109 ::: Gursky ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 04:35 PM:

I couldn't even get past the first. I think my allergy to teh stoopid has been worsening lately.

#110 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 04:38 PM:

#95 ::: A.R.Yngve :::

Creationists haven't spent enough time observing nature. (Unlike Charles Darwin.

In anticipation of "two Darwin anniversaries next year — his 200th birthday and the 150th of his world-changing book, “The Origin of Species.”" the New York Botanical Gardens have done a 33 stop tour replicating as many of Darwin's botanical researches as they could fit into the 250 acre place. It looks splendid, and we shall surely attend.

Visitors who enter the exhibition through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will encounter a replica of a room in Darwin’s house, designed so they can look through the window, as he did, to a profusion of plants and bright flowers: hollyhocks, flax and of course primroses, what Todd Forrest, the garden’s vice president for horticulture, calls “a typical British garden.” On a table stands a tray holding quills, brushes, sealing wax and tweezers, the kinds of simple tools Darwin used to conduct his world-shaking research.

Darwin grew the flowers not just for their own sake, Mr. Forrest said, but as subjects for observation and experiment, work he carried out in his home laboratory and greenhouses, on workbenches like those in the exhibition. The work displayed on the benches is typical of studies Darwin made of pollination, how plants grow, even what happens when a carnivorous plant devours an insect. Orchids on display remind visitors of the varieties Darwin studied, and how his observations and dissections of their blooms led him to conclude that particular species were pollinated by particular species of insects, a conclusion later research confirmed.

The whole story and dates, etc. are here.

Love, C.



#111 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 04:44 PM:

#106 ::: Fragano Ledgister :::

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) #105 wrote "Slight tangent: am I right in surmising that the singles scene is one of the reasons why the standard of beauty in the US is becoming the porn star?"

When did this happen? (That's a serious question.

When cosmetic surgery got to be so normal that even 12 year olds have it -- nose jobs along with braces, in small town America, and escalated from there. Web cams and the sex-positive 'feminist' 4th wavers helped greatly by buying into the silly idea that being a stripper or a prostitute was empowering, and giving blowjobs upon request was totally cool -- and empowering.

This got started in the 1st Reagan term, of course.

Love, C.

#112 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 05:08 PM:

I am reminded of Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote." Either Iva is Cervantes, or Iva is Pierre Menard; it's a quixotic achievement regardless.

In any case, I've met (mostly in the internet sense) a number of people easily as wacko on the subject of evolution as Iva Biggrudge. I don't think (from evidence of other beliefs they express) that they are parodists.

#113 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 06:09 PM:

#105 Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers): Slight tangent: am I right in surmising that the singles scene is one of the reasons why the standard of beauty in the US is becoming the porn star?

Is there such a thing as a "standard of beauty in the US"?

Others can speak for other times and locations and orientations, I guess, but here in NYC the standard of beauty in the East Village is the Scruffy Hipster, in Chelsea it is the Worked-out Gym Rat, in the Financial District it is the Pin-Striped Suit, on the Upper Westside it is the Young Professional and/or the Hot Latino and/or the Columbia University College Student, in Williamsburg it is the Indie Musician and/or Filmmaker.

And even in such small samples as those, I am speaking merely in generalities and clichés.

#114 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 06:24 PM:

Bruce, #105: I'm more inclined to blame the fashion industry myself. They've pretty much led the way in every wave of change to the "American standard" since at least the 1940s.

#115 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 07:23 PM:

Constance Ash #111: Surely, the demand for cosmetic surgery goes back well before that. And sex-positive feminism can't bear that much of the blame for pressure on teenage girls to give blowjobs (I have a feeling that there are other causes for that, including a lack of real sex education). I think you're conflating a number of things here, many of them coming from the right.

When I lived in rural eastern Kentucky in the 1990s, I was struck by the number of places that provided tanning beds.

#116 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 07:43 PM:

Xopher @98, Bruce @105, NelC @107, have you ever seen the film Idiocracy? I don't think I've read "The Marching Morons", but it sounds like it might have been the seed of the screenplay. OTOH, the basic idea isn't uncommon.

NelC, I think the problem that is worrying people is that on top of the 'dumb' having more offspring, there's a lot of cultural reinforcing of dumbness and disrespect for smartness — 'elite' and 'elitism' has been an insult in Australia for a couple of decades at least, tho' it seems to have a patchy application, sometimes money, sometimes intellect or artistic tendencies. (There's an implicit linking of money with the other two, yet statistics show the 'intellectual' and 'artistic' professions tend to be lower-income ones.)

#117 ::: forthurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 07:46 PM:

Iva Biggrudge makes me howl with laughter. She can't be natural, ID, surely. But then again where I come from, they do say, "there's knowt so queer as folk", so maybe she's real but normal.



The answer is in the Turing test, surely. Is it possible to distinguish through their conversation between a machine and a human being with his brain switched off. The answer might be that it depends whether the machine has been preprogrammed to believe the book of Genesis.

#118 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 09:16 PM:

re standards of beauty: It's possible that mass, visual, media; at the level of saturation, are making a more homogenous sense of "pretty.", but I doubt it.

As to the various stripes Michael Weholt describes, those sound more like trappings, than body-types, so it's possible that all of the people doing that are attempting to look much the same when unclothed 9(with the exception of group/philosophy markers like tatoos and body jewelry).

On the subject of Darwin, The Darwin Project Online reported that they were slammed last week with more than 7 million hits a day, and something like a quarter million copies of Origin of Species were downloaded.

That was my morning whoot yesterday (it's true, I was bouncing with glee as I went in to get my coffee), which was followed last night by the new lizard in Croatia.

The world is not yet run out of wonders.

#120 ::: Dirk ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 12:55 AM:

Wow. I hope you get paid well to read all that.

#121 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 01:03 AM:

Constance Ash #111: The middle-school blow job parties you're talking about are not sex positive. And I don't think anyone has ever argued that being a dancer or a prostitute is always empowering; only that it doesn't have to be shameful. I'm getting the impression that there are some misunderstandings here. And I'll tell you ahead of time that any argument that it's not OK to be a stripper or a prostitute is going to make me forcefully angry. One of my closest friends stripped her way out of living in (and raising her little sister in) a car, and my roommate has often used escorting as a way to get out of dire financial straits, and that is fine.

"I can sell my body if I wanna" is the lyric, not "You can make me sell my body if you wanna".

#122 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 01:11 AM:

....aaaand I already apologize for my tone there. Sorry.

#123 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 01:42 AM:

I can't tell if those are parodies, or not.

It probably didn't help that I didn't notice I had two running at the same time; so it sounded even more bizarre.

That whole riff on the sun is not a star... wow. If that's serious, then I'm croggled.

If it's not, the comments which don't get it are funny as all get out.

#124 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 05:24 AM:

wright @ 119... Science Is Wrong ... Only God Knows The Truth

She blinded me with Science!

#125 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 10:45 AM:

#103 ::: don delny

I picked the phrase "weak ID" to draw a distinction between the folks I knew who would have described themselves as ID-ers (and some still might) who assumed that it wasn't repackaged Creationism

Mmmph. That's a little different than what I understood above; in that circle of the Venn diagram I have less trouble with it, if it's referring to people who actually describe themselves as believing in ID.

* * *

Also, a recent LJ post on sex-positive, getting-laid-positive, and much else.

#126 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 01:12 PM:

Epacris @ 116

I've seen "Idiocracy"; it credits "The Marching Morons", but it might have been more accurate to say "inspired by", as there's no real correspondence in plot or character other than the basic idea of a 20th/early 21st century American waking up hundreds of years later to find out that the morons have proliferated.

I agree that the idea of morons outbreeding normal intelligence humans and creating a moronic civilization isn't going to happen for a number of reasons. But I agree strongly with you that mainstream US society has, over the last couple of centuries, made intelligence, intellectualism, education, toleration of difference, and ability to reason logically all disapproved values, while strongly approving emotionalism, blind faith, bigotry, and bad logic (post hoc ergo propter hoc, in particular, I think). What's the effective difference between a population that can't think and a population that's been conditioned not to think? AFAIK only whether it's possible for the next generation to be different.

NelC @ 107

Sorry, I didn't unpack my statement enough for the message to be clear. The horror I was talking about wasn't that the morons had bred into a vast majority, I agree that's genetically unrealistic (but see my response to Epacris, just above this). The real horror was that the few intelligent people left, who were running the system because no one else was capable of it or wilyvat gb, gubhtug gur ceboyrz fb frevbhf gung gurl jrer jvyyvat gb pbzzvg trabpvqr gb gur rkgrag bs xvyyvat 90% bs gur cbchyngvba. It's not necessary to believe that the morons were congenitally stupid to see that a minority of very intelligent people could feel backed so far into a corner that they would commit such an act. That's horrible.

#127 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 01:17 PM:

Kate Nepevu: I keep looking at that morass (the open source boob project), and trying to jump in, but it just seems I'll be sucked into something too big to really take part in.

Thanks for the link; it helped me that I have lots of context for the frame she put it into, but I think it's damned helpful for those who don't know the cultures.

#128 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 01:34 PM:

Terry Karney: yeah, discussion on that has seriously exploded, and isn't over yet; I'm noodling with yet another post springing out of it.

I have some more links in two posts, but I don't pretend to be comprehensive.

OTOH, just because a lot has already been said doesn't mean that you shouldn't say something if you feel you have something to contribute.

#129 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 02:01 PM:

Kate: The problem is it's just too vast, and I'm not a known player.

I can't do what I'd do here, and just read it all, and comment in a lump.

It's threaded. That means making the appropriate locational posts.

It also means I can't just make one response, with markers to whom the pieces are addressed.

Since I am not a known player to most, I have no credit, and so must worry more about reception.

It's an awful lot to face, and there's a lot of heat in there. I can tell that from the sidefires which have been made (that's the second piece by that writer on related topics I've seen. She says good stuff, but those conversations aren't the quietest of topics, and she wasn't involved in the events of the first post.

I'm tempted, but it's full of landmines.

#130 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 04:43 PM:

Terry: fair enough. And sometimes--often--listening is even more important than speaking, after all.

#131 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 05:08 PM:

Kate: Well, I've made comments here and there (some to threads three years gone; there is a lot of stuff he says elsewhere which colors my reactions to him in the now).

I might make a post to cover topics in general.

Lots of stuff to read/say.

#132 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 09:11 PM:

Kate@125: Also, a recent LJ post on sex-positive, getting-laid-positive, and much else.

Wow. I try to catch up on some errands this weekend, and look what I miss. Ah well.

skimming to catch up, I think there's so much stuff wrapped up in everyone's responses to the open boob project, and so much of it is pure emotion, (not "good or bad" emotion, but "sex is pretty much driven by emotion" emotion) that I can't even imagine saying anything to anyone about it and not pissing someone off, or even managing to actually contribute anything to anyone's point of view.

Who a person lusts for is pretty much out of their control. Cultural pressures to conform one way or another are pretty much out of any individual's control. And whenever sex comes up in a conversation, gender almost always immediately comes up. And whenever gender comes up, it seems that fear and anger and all sorts of negative reactions come up. open kick to the balls project seems to have shown that other end of the spectrum.

At which point, there's an entire group of people looking at the exact same thing, and people's reactions end up spanning the entire spectrum from oh god yes lust to stab someone's eyes out rage. At which point, it would seem obvious that something odd is afoot when the exact same thing can create so completely opposite reactions in people, that the reactions must be based in emotion, and emotion is independent of logic, and therefore, what can anyone really contribute other than "yeah, that turns me on" or "no, that doesn't do it for me at all".



#133 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 09:34 PM:

therefore, what can anyone really contribute other than "yeah, that turns me on" or "no, that doesn't do it for me at all"

Other people's discussions have contributed to my understanding and point of view. A few people have been kind enough to tell me that I had articulated something useful to them.

I note that not everyone is in a position to react to something like this with "yikes, complicated, guess I won't think about it."

#134 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 10:19 PM:

Terry, I for one would be eager to see your general post on the topic. (As you might have noticed, I had a few things to say on the matter myself, and spent a week in something of a state, although it's receded some now.)

#135 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 11:01 PM:

I hadn't heard of the Open Source Boob Project before. Reading some of the comments and blogs, my initial reaction is that it sounds like an April Fools joke that people started taking seriously -- definitely in the "indistinguishable from parody/satire" category. I guess I'm just too naive/conservative; it would never occur to me to grope someone outside of a fairly serious relationship.

My secondary reaction is that it would probably only take me about an hour of design work to add a couple of huge tracts of tundra to the standard Tux plush toy pattern, and the usual six or seven hours of work to sew the thing. But I'm not at all sure that this would properly convey the intended "this is really silly" message.

#136 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 11:10 PM:

"yikes, complicated, guess I won't think about it."

I didn't say I won't think about it.

I said that it's an emotional-based topic, and a given the range of responses pretty much cover everything from "Yes" to "Fck no, you *ssh*le", that I doubted the ability to say anything that wouldn't get interpreted in some other way, by someone. Like that I wouldn't think, or something.

I will say that for myself, I'm extremely happy in a monogomous relationship with an amazingly wonderful woman for the last many years that we've been married. And if some woman came up to me with a "yes, you may" button, I would have had no interest in taking her up on her offer.

But I wouldn't go so far as to say that she should or should not wear the button. Or that any person who advocates that women should wear or not wear buttons or no buttons must be the person with the healthiest outlook on human relationships.

There are completely messed up people living in monogomous marriages, raising 2.3 kids, workign their job, paying their mortgage. And there are healthy people who are living all sorts of what some would call "abnormal" lifestyles.

I'm sure there were quite a number of people taking part in the "button" thing who were doing so in what I would consider as having a "healthy" attitude towards human relationships, bucking some odd and old and weird cultural things, who had healthy attitudes about their body image. And I'm sure there were some people who were taking part in the "button" thing who used it as a creepy excuse to feel up women or who used it as an excuse to flaunt their sexuality.

And I'm sure there are a number of people who have rightly pointed out possible problems if cultural norms started to exert pressure on women to wear a "yes" or "no" button. And I'm sure there are a number of people who reacted quite violently to the whole button thing, who's reactions had nothing to do with what actually happened at Penquincon, but had everything to do with their own personal baggage around sex, or human relations, or who knows what.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to think about it. It simply means that it's fairly clear to me that I can't say "all people who thought ABCDEF about the button incident are GHIJKH type people". But that's mostly what people are saying.

In all the posts and comments and whatever that I read about the buttons at the con, 99% of those posts were not actually about what happened at the con, but people's emotional reaction to some idea of something kind of related to what happened at the con.

I actually started looking around for posts that tried to report what actually happened at the con and gave up. There were a few posts by people who said they were there, but somehow missed the whole button thing. There were very few posts who actually reported on the context that the buttons occurred in the con. I still don't know how many people were wearing buttons. Or how many women had been pressured into wearing buttons that didn't want to. Or how much of the con was just regular con and how much was button stuff. I think it was scalzi who said that context matters. and what's missing from a lot of people's comments about the buttons are the context in which the buttons were actually worn by actual poeple. Instead a lot of people removed the actual context and the actual people and replaced it with their context of what they made the buttons mean and replaced it with worst-case scenario creeps.

So, what will happen is I might make a comment about the actual event, the actual context in which the button stuff occurred, and some people are going to read it, filter it, through their own context through which they've created in their minds.

At which point, no one is really communicating, except to agree with people who are reacting to similarly imagined contexts, which may or may not have anything to do with what actually happened. And the rest is mostly people disagreeing because they're talking from completely different contexts of the buttons.

Which isn't to say that I'm not going to think about it, but rather that I question how much real communication is possible.

As far as the button thing itself, I still don't know to what level it actually occurred. Whether it was a few people who happened to be vocal, or whether it was a mob scene of unanimous pressure to comply. I've been to con's where I've seen folks run around in scantily clad outfits that make me wonder if its because they have a healthy body image or because they've vested their self worth into nothing but their physical attractiveness. But I don't assume it's one or the other and accost them in the hallway. Either way, they're not really bothering me. I'm in a monogomous marriage, and I've been at cons that have had "poly" panels, but I don't think poly is wrong, it's just not something that works for me.

As an intentional attempt to modify cultural norms, the button thing would probably be ill advised. If it turned into some sort of conformist mob to get every woman to wear a button, then it would obviously take one ugly cultural norm and turn it into another ugly cultural norm. If it was just a certain group of people at the con who decided to run with an idea, were boisterous about it, but didn't really get into people's faces about it, then I can't say it's much different than anything else that might be in my "doesn't do anything for me" category.

The thing is that I can't figure out what exactly happened at the con around the buttons, whether it became a real problem that was getting in everyone's faces, or whether it was a boisterous few who were vocal but didn't force anyone to join their little group. So I can't really comment on the con.

And I'm not going to say "everyone who thought ABC about the buttons suffers from XYZ personality disorder" because emotional health can't always be measured by some indirect narrative of a single incident, but sometimes has to be queried over time with direct conversation and behaviour in many different settings. Which is a long way of saying that for some people, the button could be a healthy attitude to take on, and for some people, they might use it as an excuse to let their creepy side run amok.

But none of that means I didn't think about it.

#137 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 12:00 AM:

Greg, #132: Here's one you may have missed, which might help you sort out the heart of it: How not to be That Guy.

At least part of the mess is not so much about what happened at the con, but about what happened when Ferrett decided that this was such a wonderful idea that it needed to be expanded into a Movement. Like pure democracy, it's one of those things that just doesn't scale well.

Joel, #135: Yeah, I've found myself thinking that it would be really hard to tell someone about this -- someone who hadn't seen it -- and have them believe it was real. Just laid out in conversation, it sounds like a story straight out of The Onion.

#138 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 12:22 AM:

Rikibeth: Flattered. I had to talk with someone about it this afternoon, because; after reading some sideposts, comments on the parent post, and go back to some other stuff the ferret said a few years back, I needed some mental floss.

I find myself, like Greg, a trifle loathe to wade in; without being very careful about what I want to be talking about, because it's got a lot of button-pushing aspects.

#139 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 01:28 AM:

Joel @135: A friend of mine briefly thought that the Open Source Boob Project was a parody making fun of Richard Stallman's infamous treatment of women. (The oft-quoted pickup line: "Hi, I wrote Emacs. Can I touch your breasts?") But then it would have been the Free Boob Project.

#140 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 02:31 AM:

Terry @127, 131,

Right after reading about all that, I attempted an essay bringing in thoughts about cons, Burning Man (a place with wider and more fluid boundaries than fandom has wrt costuming [including of 'the proud displays of assets' {ick to that description}] yet it has similar situations), the definition of costume, etc...

But with the 25 relevant but divergent issues involved I gave up. Maybe I'll try again in a month.

On the other hand, one project that came out of it--the women back each other up project--has been easier for me to think about and to focus on.

For example, I was thinking about practical tips on what to do when viewing an odd situation (where your spidey-senses start to tingle that something isn't all right).

Everyone can contribute to a knowledge base of suggestions for "if I see X, I will say Y and do Z" for common situations in which a person might want to do or say something but not be sure how to start.

#141 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 03:11 AM:

Kathryn: That's my problem. There are so many things packed into the topic (and the subtexts of past posts by the OP) that I can't narrow it down to a clear set of ideas.

1: This wasn't opt-in, nor opt out. It was take part, or avoid. The people being touched were approached (unless they had buttons, which were a reaction to other things).

2: It was public, so those who didn't want to take part were exposed to it.

3: It was socially coercive.

4: (and this is problematic, but it colors my thinking) The OP has said in the past that women who dress provocatively have to accept that men will hit on them, and because some women say no, and mean maybe, they have to accept that men will be obnoxious and pushy; because it's not the guys' fault.

He's also said women who say no, and mean maybe ought to be taken into an alley and beaten. So to the men who are too pushy, but that's cold comfort to those women who don't live up to his standards of behavior.

So I keep finding it wandering wide, and touching on lots of things. It's got no focus.

#142 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 03:59 AM:

Terry @141

E. what happens when a private or bounded event (one woman was handing out buttons iirc) gets written about by another person as if it had always meant to been public? i.e. Should groups have clear ideas ahead of time about what can be blogged, photographed, etc? What happens if these guidelines don't exist or are ignored?

F. How do we (fandom, burners) think about what our ordinary events look like to the outside (mundanes, default-worlders)?

G. That group doing the osbp: did they think they were inventing something new for fandom? [not to be cynical, but not to be naive either...all this has happened before, and will happen again]

H. How do you teach people that not every message and conversation is for you? Even if a costumes' only message is 'sexy,' why not assume this message is for the wearer's friends and only for them? (the world of difference between "wow, that costume is for some lucky person!" and "wow, that costume is for some lucky person and I'm assuming it's me!"

I. is it possible to think about this event as if the OP had never written about it? If no, then I have to think about F. above and how that would bias me (i.e. I don't want to prejudge the group the way mundanes do fandom). If yes, it's still a complex mess of ideas.

J.--Z. etc. etc.

Anyways, all to say that I understand what you mean when you say you can't write about it. It's like the 6 blind people and an elephant, where the elephant is wearing a sign that says "warning, do not approach elephant." Snake, spear, fan, rope, wall, junkyard car-crusher.

#143 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 07:40 AM:

Lee@137: How not to be That Guy.

(reading) he knows he has this privilege and he doesn't want to fumble around and make things worse for people by accidentally displaying it. So he stays out of those conversations, because he doesn't want to impose and make people uncomfortable.

Well, that's absurd. His intent becomes irrelevant? And how other people react to his behaviour becomes the sole measure of whether or not he is "that guy"?

I was curious about what actually happened at the actual convention. What did people do? How many did it? The idea being to extract some sort of intent of the actual participants. Was Ferrett trying to be a creep from the beginning? Were the women who participated doing so only because they had self esteem issues? What was their intent?

meanwhile "that guy" talks about some guy who is so afraid of saying something with the best of intentions but piss someone off that he doesn't say anything? That isn't healthy either. It removes the person's point of view and intent from an interaction and says the only thing that matters is whether someone was offended because he didn't see their point of view of things.

Well, people don't operate that way. Everyone sees through one worldview: their own. The only way they can see their worldview is by interacting with someone with a different worldview and discovering there are mismatches in describing the same event.

And in that process, intent is what matters. that someone had good intentions or bad intentions matters. You can't reduce some interaction between two people to one person's worldview, one person's judgement, and say that's the important worldview, or that's all that matters. You can't remove one person's intent because the other person was offended.

You can't judge Bob simply by asking Alice whether she was offended by Bob. Especially if Bob did the exact same thing with Cici, Donna, Eve, and Fiona, and they welcomed it.

The only thing I was really curious about was actually happened at the con so I could get a sense of the intentions of the actual participants. Instead, all I've read is everyone's reaction to what happened, with some number of folks clearly not responding to what happened at the convention but to what their worldview interpreted as having happened at the con.

A woman with a "yes, you may" button may have been going from a poor self image to trying to embrace her body. Or she may have been acting out of low self esteem and a self-worth that was based only on her physical attraction and what she can do with her body to get others to accept her.

Her intention matters to how I would view the behaviour.

Same goes for Ferrett. What was his intentions in this whole thing? Was it something that naturally evolved in seeing a cultural taboo on people's bodies and testing the taboo? Or was he looking to take advantage of women simply so he could feel them up?

Obviously, women who weren't there can't simply say that Ferrett was being one of "those guys" without not only ignoring his intent but also ignoring that some number of women apparently participated of their own free will, and implying that they succumbed to "that guy" tactics.

I'm not interested in judging Ferrett or the women who wore "yes, you may" buttons based on whether or not it offended someone who wasn't there, someone who is judging people after the fact and removed from the participants actual intent. Of course someone will be offended. This is the fricken internet. You could select a random page on the internet and find someone who is offended by it.

I've read plenty of stuff by people who were offended by the button stuff. I still don't really know what anyone's intent was.

Ferrett decided that this was such a wonderful idea that it needed to be expanded into a Movement. Like pure democracy, it's one of those things that just doesn't scale well.

Well, if it started out as something where everyone who was participating was doing so with a healthy intent, and everyone ended feeling like they learned something, then he shouldn't be hanged for wanting to try to scale it.

If after having everyone point out all the problems with scaling the idea, Ferrett still wanted to go ahead with it, then he'd be hangworthy in my opinion.

But since he's shut the thread down and says he won't be pursuing it, it seems to indicate his initial intent was good and having had potential bad outcomes pointed out to him, he reconsidered and realized that one good example doesn't mean it'll always work out that way.

Since I haven't found much that says what actually happened at the con, his reaction to shut down the thread is the only thing that really gives me any clue as to what his intent was.

And if the choice is between (1) Bob who has good intentions and sometimes produces bad outcomes because he didn't see something from the other persons poitn of view but then he cleans up whatever mess he makes, or (2) the guy who is so afraid of being "that guy" that he doesn't do or say anything that might offend anyone anywhere, then I'd probably say that (1) is the healthier attitude.

#144 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 08:43 AM:

Greg @143:

Please stop explaining things as though none of the LJ commenters has thought the matter through. This issue pushed a lot of buttons that you don't have. Until you can accept that, and accept that people have at least as much right to be pissed off as the ferret does to be clueless, we're going to have the same conversation over and over again.

Except we're not, because that last time was plenty. You can't always clean up the damage you cause with good intentions and no understanding of the impact of your words.

In other words, Greg, Do Not Continue This Conversation.

(Corollary: no one else may take swings at Greg or his perspective.)

#145 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 11:46 AM:

Kathryn 142: Even if a costumes' only message is 'sexy,' why not assume this message is for the wearer's friends and only for them? (the world of difference between "wow, that costume is for some lucky person!" and "wow, that costume is for some lucky person and I'm assuming it's me!"

I'm assuming you mean the touching aspect, and maybe the speaking-to aspect. The sight of a costume (worn in a public place) belongs to everyone (though I think you should ask permission before taking pictures, and ordinary rules of politeness apply).

It reminds me of the time I heard some homophobic young whelp on a daytime talk show say "I don't like the idea of some guy looking at me." I had two reactions to that: One, "Do you think every girl you look at" (these were teenagers we were talking about) "wants to be looked at by you? Why should she have less right than you to control that?" Two, "Your appearance is public property when you go out in public. If you want to control who looks at you, you have two choices: stay home, or wear chador."

Someone who wears an extremely attention-getting outfit (whether it's sexy or just, say, a shocking-pink tuxedo with blinking lights) does not thereby give up the right to control who touches them or under what circumstances. They DO (IMO) give up the right not to be stared at.

#146 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 12:14 PM:

Hm. abi - I was going to comment on one of Greg's impressions - I disagree with his reading of part of the "that guy" post, but I don't think I'm taking a swing.

I'm not having any luck at finding an email addy for you to let you pre-read, and you can't email me at the address I use (well, you can, but I can't check it due to a web nanny.)

Any suggestions for a solution?

#147 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 01:29 PM:

abi, I'm not sure if I should apologize for responding to Greg initially, but if you'd like me to, I would be glad to.

(I will also Not Engage him in the future.)

#148 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 02:53 PM:

Hey, I wasn't trying to put Greg in Coventry here. He's a fantastic guy, and I hesitated about getting into this because it comes off like public shaming. It really, really isn't meant to be.

The thing is, we've been down this road before, and it ended extremely badly. I am not the only person who seriously considered leaving Making Light after that discussion, and after the venomous overspill into other threads as people stayed angry after switching tabs.

And it came about because of an unfortunate conjunction of a difficult topic and Greg's argument style. Reread the other thread if you don't know what I'm talking about.

So what I'm asking is that Greg leave the discussion. Agree to disagree and walk away from that subthread, like he did before. But that requires that everyone else let him walk away, which means not addressing his points. Sorry, RM Koske, that means that your reaction to his reaction is best left unstated, because he can't respond back. If you wish to discuss this with him in private email, that is between the two of you*.

This doesn't mean, for instance, that Kate should apologize for talking to him earlier, or resolve not to talk to him in future. Talking to people is what we do here, after all. It's why we're here. It just means that from the point where I made the comment, which was immediately after the point where I saw the pattern starting again, let's back off and let him back off.

If anyone wants to continue discussing the topic itself, please proceed, but carefully. There are a lot of raw nerves in this area, and it's so easy to say something that gets taken the wrong way.

-----

* How to find anyone's email address on Making Light: click on "(view all by)". Copy the URL from your browser's address bar. At the very end of the URL is the email address.

#149 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 03:07 PM:

No problem, I don't know that what I had to say was that useful anyway. (Greg, if you really want to know, email me and I'll respond when I get home.)

Unfortunately, that would have been my only contribution to the discussion. Oops.

And thanks for the info about the email. I knew it would be easy once it was explained to me.

#150 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 06:51 PM:

I vote for heavy metal poisoning. Of course, it could be a tactical syntax operator with heavy metal poisoning, but I think that might be a redundancy. I suppose it's possible that somebody somewhere might have a rational interest in conducting tactical syntax operations on the Boing Boing comments forum, but I'm having a tough time raising the necessary paranoia to believe in it.

Why? Why would anyone do such a thing? Other than for the pure lewdness of it all, I mean?

#151 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 07:21 PM:

There's a post in BB's $10-a-gallon-gasoline thread suggesting that the solution to high oil prices are well-aimed tactical nuclear weapons.

The nerve of those arabs, charging market prices for a increasingly rare and in-demand commodity!

Again, indistinguishable from parody.

#152 ::: sherrold ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2008, 01:03 PM:

One of the sad things for me in reading the OSB threads was the many women I like and respect saying things like, "That's why I don't go to cons/no longer go to cons/recommend that women don't go to cons."

I don't go to cons much anymore myself (I'm nearing fifty, and perhaps more importantly, have acquired a mundane wife with no interest), but I still have endless happy memories based at conventions. I hate to think that they're thought of (or have become) anti-feminist space. (Or feminist anti-space, at least.)

#153 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2008, 11:55 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 105:

Slight tangent: am I right in surmising that the singles scene is one of the reasons why the standard of beauty in the US is becoming the porn star?

I believe you are incorrect. I have seen what you're talking about, and I think it's due to the incredible ease of access to porn itself. I can't remember who pointed out (in a livejournal discussion, but that's all I recall) that these days the average 20-year-old man has seen far, *far* more women in porn than he has seen naked women in real life. His eyes are used to them, in a way that he won't be used to actual naked women.

What I noticed starting a few years ago is that young men stress thinness in young women much more than they used to. I've had a young man argue with me that male preference for slender women is "hard-wired", and that there must have been evolutionary change since the days of Renoir (!), because back then guys seemed to like fatties. *head desk*

When I was a young 'un in the 70s, the young men generally assured us young women that models & movie stars were *not* all that attractive to them, because they were much too thin -- and flat-chested, which made their assurances quite believable.

In recent years, though, the style in porn and in the rest of the entertainment industry has been for young women to be skinny but have breast implants, and this has gone along with the dissemination of free porn online. I think both men & women have gotten used to seeing skinny+implants women as the standard of sexy.

#154 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 02:06 AM:

Sherrold, #152: Fear not; I'm over 50 and female, and still go to conventions regularly, and I can report that not only are they not (generally speaking) hostile to women, there are a lot more women there now than there were when I first started. I think convention fandom started being more accessible to women when there started being more Big Name Authors who were female -- Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula K. LeGuin, etc. in the vanguard, and then people like Mercedes Lackey and Lois McMaster Bujold in the next wave. Now there are about as many female names as male ones on the SF bookshelves. I do think that the larger the con, the more likely it is to encounter some of that type of behavior -- but that's more or less a statistical certainty. :-)

At any rate, I had some comments of my own to make on the topic, because I was hearing a fair amount of the same thing you were.

#155 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 11:25 AM:

I can't remember who pointed out (in a livejournal discussion, but that's all I recall) that these days the average 20-year-old man has seen far, *far* more women in porn than he has seen naked women in real life. His eyes are used to them, in a way that he won't be used to actual naked women.

I can't remember who wrote the story where the woman from the future tells the 1920s teenage girl "Don't worry. Your body will be in fashion around the time of the next war." Tiptree, maybe?

I keep waiting for the male paunch to come back in fashion (as it was in the 14th century) but, sadly, it never has.

Seriously though, continual changes in body fashion are mostly about women's bodies*, and it's one of the ways women are oppressed. Continual (on a much shorter scale) changes in clothing fashion oppress women economically, by forcing them to spend more of their income on clothing. Body fascismhions don't change as rapidly, and in the 20th Century stopped fluctuating and began a steady spiral of increasing thinness, because of the advent of the diet industry.

The current standard of "beauty" is already physically unhealthy, and actually impossible to achieve without surgery. It's going to get worse.

None of which is news to anyone here. Sorry. Something just pushed my buttons. Or button, maybe, the one labeled "Rant."

On a less serious note: See? This is an advantage of Wicca. Our men see lots more naked real women, including "fat" women, women with scars, women with an inverted nipple on one side, even women with gray pubic hair. They look at porn models and say "Plastic."

*Though gay men—as people who are held to a standard of attractiveness by men—are subject to some (not all) of the same pressures.

#156 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 11:33 AM:

Xopher: I can't remember who wrote the story where the woman from the future tells the 1920s teenage girl "Don't worry. Your body will be in fashion around the time of the next war."

Joanna Russ, maybe?

I read somewhere that in places/times where food is scarce, plumpness in women is more popular (because harder to achieve.) Contrariwise, when food is plentiful women are expected to be thin. It seems like a valid theory.

#157 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 11:48 AM:

I think you're right, I think it was Russ.

#158 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 02:08 PM:

xopher,

i remember the story, i read it in an anthology, i think. the woman from the future was scandalous because she is indeterminately nonwhite, & she dates the white girl narrator's, i think, uncle.

i remember really loving that story, so if someone does know the author, i'd like to try to remember to pick up more stuff of theirs.

#159 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 02:24 PM:

abi (144,148):

Or, as Elise said to someone else recently, in a different contentious thread:

...that thing you do? You're doing it again...

#160 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 03:47 PM:

Xopher @155: The current standard of "beauty" is already physically unhealthy, and actually impossible to achieve without surgery. It's going to get worse.

Actually, I'd argue that in some ways, the standard has gotten *better*: if you look at models and movie stars from the 1960s and 1970s, their physical standard now looks shockingly scrawny, e.g. Michael York's shirtless scenes in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (which I thank other MLers for having recommended). They're thin but notably less muscular than their modern analogues, which I partially ascribe to the former near-ubiquity of smoking.

Breast implants do seem to be standard accessories these days, but so does a set of well-defined musculature (eight-packs are the new six-packs) displaying sufficient prosperity to afford the leisure to work out several hours a week (or in some cases, per day).

#161 ::: forthurst ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 04:33 PM:

Julie L. #160 "if you look at models and movie stars from the 1960s and 1970s, their physical standard now looks shockingly scrawny" whereas now they are all tanned and weighted with muscle and silicone.

this surely is because film has now merged seamlessly with comic strip to form an entertainment fit for heroes controlling the world with gizmos from their couches.

#162 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 06:08 PM:

julie l,

Actually, I'd argue that in some ways, the standard has gotten *better*:

that might be true for men, but zero body fat plus breast implants is definitely not healthy for women. generally speaking, if a woman has a chiseled six-pack, she doesn't have enough fat to menstruate.

#163 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 06:27 PM:

I'm pretty sure that the story Xopher's talking about is The Female Man. At least, it sounds familiar-like-something-I've-read-recently, and I read that recently. What miriam says about it also sounds familiar. That's a novel, though, so if you're thinking of a short story, maybe that's not it.

#164 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 06:33 PM:

miriam 162: Just so. Although I must say that if a man has a chiseled six-pack, he doesn't have enough fat to menstruate either!

Seriously, this is why female body-builders only go on the intense fat-loss diet for a couple of weeks before a competition, and go off it right after.

#165 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 07:14 PM:

the story Xopher's talking about is The Female Man

That's what I think too. There is a short-story version of it also though, called "When it Changed" IIRC. Strange but true.

#166 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 07:49 PM:

xopher,

This is an advantage of Wicca. Our men see lots more naked real women, including "fat" women, women with scars, women with an inverted nipple on one side, even women with gray pubic hair.

right on. also why i'm so grateful my parents let me take figure drawing classes with live nude models, starting at age fifteen.

man, i love naked people.

#167 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 08:31 PM:

miriam @162: ack, I forgot to mention how the less extreme body types fit into my opinion at 160.

These days as always, I suspect that relatively few people conform to the ideal du jour, but imho the general direction of the ideal has become healthier-- the average person in the 60s/70s may've lackadaisically sputtered toward the ideal by simply Not Eating, perhaps by deliberately using cigarettes as an appetite suppressant; the modern analogue seems less likely to smoke and more likely to incorporate exercise into a semi-regular routine. (Though of course my perception of the latter may be skewed by the SF Bay Area.)

#168 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 08:55 PM:

Julie @ 167:

I think your opinion *is* skewed, frankly. I think the "ideal" for women is even thinner than it was in the 70s, but it's disguised by the surgical enhancements, artificial tanning, hair dyeing/extending, and obsessive exercising. For men it involves mostly obsessive exercise with just a touch of steroids, for the "action hero" look.

#169 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2008, 10:28 PM:

It's possible that I've failed to accurately remember the 1970s physical ideal, since my age was in single digits throughout that decade. Still, I do think that a nonsmoking lifestyle with regular attempts at exercise seems healthier than nicotine-assisted appetite suppression without exercise.

For general reference purposes, I've found an online archive of women's swimsuit images, more or less in chronological order; each linked sub-entry's minipix are clickable for expansion. Unfortunately, so far I've failed to find a similar cache of male images for equal balance.

#170 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 08:33 AM:

I once went looking for websites with pictures of naked men. My personal experience seeing men naked face-to-face was/is a very low number, and I wanted to expand that a bit. My interest was slightly prurient, I'll admit, but I specifically didn't want "porn" sites, because of the sort of thing that one finds there. I wanted to see average fellows, and they didn't need to be ready for business, if you get my meaning. Just nekkid men.

One site I found looked incredibly promising. "The human body is beautiful! Nudity isn't about sex!" and so on.

I spent an hour surfing before giving up. On this "celebrating the beauty of the human form" website, there was not a single photo of a naked man. Let me repeat that - after an hour of looking at pictures, I hadn't found a single man. Apparently men aren't human, or something.

Thinking about it now, I'm not sure that any of the women were anything but skinny, either.

I got a lot more cynical that day.

#171 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 11:52 AM:

"When It Changed" is a story about men rediscovering the planet Whileaway, where all the men died long ago and women have been happily surviving without them for generations. It's a beautiful, sad story, with a layer of truthful anger running beneath it that never surfaces, and its consequences are set to occur after the end of the story. It's a great piece of work, and it is not at all a short story version of The Female Man; Whileaway plays a part in The Female Man, but it's a completely different set of interlocking stories, and the sarcasm and gorgeous vitriol of The Female Man are not beneath the surface but shot in the air like fireworks.

#172 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 12:25 PM:

"When It Changed" is a story about men rediscovering the planet Whileaway . . .

After I made my post, I thought I was wrong. I was confused because The Female Man is about Whileaway, and also about women from Whileaway traveling back (in space/time) to various points in 20th century America.

Now, after a bit of research, I believe that the story Xopher and miriam beetle are referring to is "The Second Inquisition," which is about a woman from the future visiting small-town America.

#173 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 12:30 PM:

Wow, sounds like I want to read "When It Changed". Although I already knew that in general I wanted to read more Joanna Russ, so that's not that much of a shocker, I guess.

#174 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 01:08 PM:

Alyx, in fact, who is also from the past; she's the star of several wonderful Leiberesque urban sword-and-sorcery stories, and the brilliant and inexplicably neglected Picnic on Paradise, in which she's pulled out of time to lead a group of pampered tourists through a war zone on another planet. It has some of the most perfect dialogue the science fiction field has ever seen.

Russ's quarter-century-long absence from science fiction is a tragedy. I don't think there's ever been a better stylist, a better voice, in the field. Not even Sturgeon.

#175 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 01:20 PM:

I avoided Russ for years because the first thing I read by her was And Chaos Died, which made my brain hurt. I have an uncanny ability to pick someone's least accessible novel to start reading them, it seems*, because everything I've read by Russ since then has been nothing short of luminous.

Let me add that I'm far from convinced that And Chaos Died is in any sense a bad book. In fact I should probably try rereading it now that I'm on meds for ADHD and might be better able to navigate the prose.



*The first Dick I read** was The Zap Gun, which is either a lame and trashy novel, or a beautiful poetic metaphor I was too young (12, maybe?) to understand.

**That really sounds awful, doesn't it?

#176 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 01:32 PM:

Xopher: That really sounds awful, doesn't it?

It's not too bad. It took me less than a minute to think of a word choice that would have made it sound much, much worse.

#177 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 02:18 PM:

The woman in "The Second Inquisition" is Alyx? Now my brain hurts.

At one time, I read all the Russ I could find, but obviously I've gotten confused about who is what. She really is one of my favorites, and it's true, it's a shame that she hasn't written more.

I especially liked her vampire story, or stories, but nobody else I talk to seems to have heard of them.

#178 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 03:10 PM:

Xopher @175: IIRC, Dick himself (in a forward to a reprint of The Zap Gun) described it as an awful book, written in a couple of days while on speed.

#179 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 03:44 PM:

Scraps #174: I would definitely be interested to see what kind of fiction her brain would produce now, over twenty-five years after her last. One thing that's always fascinating about artists as experimental (as silly as that word is) as her is watching what direction their art progresses in as they progress in life.

#180 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 03:51 PM:

RM Koske @170:

I think part of why you get sites like that one is a consequence of the idea that men and women (or as they often say, Man and Woman) are complementary in every way. That overlaps with or runs into the idea that if women are X, men must be not-X.

So, if women are beautiful, men must be not-beautiful. And then, any male who *is* beautiful must be unmasculine. And then, to be masculine you have to wear ugly, ill-fitting clothes, lest someone think you're beautiful. Which would make you a woman.

#181 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 05:15 PM:

R. M. Koske @170-- I spent an hour surfing before giving up. On this "celebrating the beauty of the human form" website, there was not a single photo of a naked man. Let me repeat that - after an hour of looking at pictures, I hadn't found a single man. Apparently men aren't human, or something.

Within the last couple of years I caught a TV show that consisted of men of all ages, races, and states of physical fitness being interviewed while they were nude. Topics included self-image and sexuality. I tried to google for it, but came up empty, sorry. ISTR it was an American production, not British, but I could be wrong. Don't seem to remember their accents, *ahem*

Your comment at 170 got me thinking about something else. Given that a very large proportion of men are pretty used to seeing each other fairly matter-of-factly, at urinals and in locker rooms, on reflection it seems kind of odd that there's not more male [genital] nudity in the culture at large.

#182 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 05:34 PM:

Rob 178: That's a relief, but it's interesting they let him do that. "What on Earth are you doing? You don't want this book! It's terrible. Put it down and pick up something else!" Not usually the thing, in forwards.

#183 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 05:54 PM:

What Scraps said in #171 and in #174, re the tragedy that Russ hasn't written more. I don't think it's overstating things to say The Female Man helped shape my understanding of what it means to be human.

#184 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 06:28 PM:

Debbie @ #181: In my experience - and this might be only my skewed perception, but I think I'm just more conscious of it than some - the limited male nudity in locker rooms and bathrooms involves a powerfully complex, subtle, and touchy choreography of never ever looking at other men's genitals or butts, while simultaneously always pretending that one isn't avoiding looking. This strange choreography is shaped by the American cultural fear of being perceived as homosexual, which for a lot of men is even more frightening than actually being homosexual. Looking would mark you as queer; being afraid to look would mark you as wimpy, hence faggy.

#185 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 06:46 PM:

Clifton Royston #184: And being looked at? A few years ago a student at an all-male HBCU here in Atlanta was bludgeoned with a baseball bat for, allegedly, looking at another student in the shower.

#186 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2008, 06:52 PM:

Fragano:

I had almost used the word "dangerous" instead of "frightening" for the prospect of being perceived as homosexual, due to exactly that kind of scenario. I should have stuck with my first choice.

[sarcasm]How fragile masculinity must be, if it takes the constant threat of beatings to safeguard it![/sarcasm]

#187 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:37 PM:

Me @ 135: My secondary reaction is that it would probably only take me about an hour of design work to add a couple of huge tracts of tundra to the standard Tux plush toy pattern, and the usual six or seven hours of work to sew the thing.

I am weak.

#188 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:44 PM:

Joel@187

I think Tux is missing a thong.

#189 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:04 PM:

RM Koske: These days, were someone to be looking for what you were trying to find, I'd recommend flickr, where there are a lot of nude groups; which are mixed.

#190 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 11:46 PM:

Greg @ 188: If you're referring to what I think you are... oops. From that angle, that seam is... seamier than anything I'd intended. I've blurred it out, somewhat.

#191 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 10:07 AM:

Whoops! I managed to miss some replies a while back. Sorry about that.

#180, Doctor Science -

That's annoyingly plausible.

#181, Debbie -
I've never seen men act as comfortable with casual nudity as women seem to. I wonder if it isn't partially because they never* look at others naked without a sexual context, so they've somehow internalized that naked=sex. Women are more likely to deal with children and ill people (especially traditionally) so they don't have that same automatic context assumption.

I think the media and possibly culture in general is strongly encouraging that behavior in straight men. Which becomes a chicken-and-egg question. Is the sexual eye an innate tendency reflected in the media, or something men are taught is the way they ought to be *by* the media?


*This is an awful generalization and not remotely true for all men. Some (many?) men can look at nudity in their preferred gender and not automatically go there, and some women have that automatic sexual context. Some men take care of children and the sick and some women never do. But we're talking generalities anyway.


#187, Joel Polowin -

Ha! That's...disturbing.

#189, Terry Karney -

Hey, I hadn't thought of that! Thanks!

#192 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 11:19 AM:

RM Koske: re casual nudity.

Some places yes, some places no. I've been to clothing optional places, (both formal, and not). In those, people all seemed to be comfortable (even those who didn't strip off).

In the army, well there's a lot of places were nudity happens. Some of it is casual, some of it is compensetory (proving one isn't gay).

The undertones change, so that people who are comfortable in the shower, aren't in the day-room. But forced living makes for oddities of accomodation.

Glad to be of service re images.

#193 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:04 PM:

R.M. 191: One of the great things about Wicca (at least for skyclad traditions) is that one quickly gets used to nudity not being sexual. Sometimes it makes your sex more religious, which in my opinion is a good thing!

Terry 192: How does nudity prove you're not gay? Or am I just looking at this as a 48-year-old and ignoring something that might actually work with 18-year-olds?

#194 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:42 PM:

It's not nudity, per se, it's a sort of mockery of being nervous. I don't know how to describe it. There's a lot of homo-reactive humor, meant to show one is straight.

#195 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:46 PM:

As in the anecdote that, in 1960s Glasgow, the hard men would only dance with other men in the nightclubs, because dancing with women was seen as being a bit gay.

#196 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 12:50 PM:

Terry, you mean like frat boys doing bad drag to show how UNlike women they are?

#197 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 01:00 PM:

Clifton Royston @184, R.M. Koske et al., re: nudity, body image, etc. -- hmm, lots to think about. Things apparently only look casual on the surface. So when guys shake their heads and say, "Tsk, tsk! Women and their body issues!" it's pretty much a case of projection?

ajay -- the mental contortions needed to give that scenario any kind of logic make my brain hurt. ;-)

#198 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 02:49 PM:

Debbie #197: So when guys shake their heads and say, "Tsk, tsk! Women and their body issues!" it's pretty much a case of projection?

I've always thought of it more as a case of blaming the victim, but I bet you're right, too.

#199 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 04:01 PM:

Xopher #175:

**That really sounds awful, doesn't it?

I just assumed "tattoo enthusiast" and kept on reading... :)

#200 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2008, 06:14 PM:

Xopher @ 175: Old joke.

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